The Value of the Short Story

This summer, I was honoured to have been asked by the intelligent and talented people at University College London to write an introduction to the short story anthology of student writing which made up the UCL Publishers’ Prize. It was recently released and I got my copies in the mail about a week ago. It’s a wonderful collection of short stories and while you won’t find it on Amazon, it is representative of some of the best short form writing the university has to offer. What follows is my introduction to the book…


Reading fiction is my escape. My stolen moments where I escape into the mind of people I would never normally have the chance to meet, to find myself situations both real and fantastic, to experience profound emotions that rarely present themselves in regular everyday life. I often find it difficult to put a book down and turn out the light. I just want to keep reading.

Before my days as a publisher, I never put much thought into how those stories came about, the process, the pain, the joy, the pride and the self-loathing that goes into writing. After having worked with dozens of writers, I now have a small glimpse into what it takes to create those places, people and events that take the rest of us away to places uncharted. So, let me first speak for all readers and say to all writers out there: Thank you. Thank you for creating what we cannot, for following your dreams and your heart on the road that you must take to write.

If an author is one of the lucky ones that makes enough to support themselves on their writing, that is indeed a wonderful thing. But if you are like the vast majority of writers, you are working one or more jobs in addition to your writing, much akin to supporting an addictive habit. Regardless of what one is paid, there is an inherent true value in writing. I am a huge fan of Steven Pressfield and his book, The War of Art. I often quote and credit him for his advice – which is that a writer does the world a disservice if they do not write. If they ignore the muse and push that urge aside – we all lose that creative energy. So please – keep writing.

While storytelling is as old as humankind, there has been a shift in the world of reading. While we still read novels, we are reading more and more in short spurts – getting our fix in non-traditional forms; stories on blogs, micro-poetry, twitter haiku. Even novels are sporting shorter chapters, making it easier for us to read and follow stories in shorter increments.

In an age where we read in smaller segments, I believe the value of the short story is more pronounced. The changes in the publishing industry and the reading universe mean that there is a shift in power to the author and to smaller publishers. The beauty of these changes in reading and publishing means there are more venues for the short story – and for the author. The opportunities for shorter pieces are increased yet again with the advent in subscription based reading services. With these, the cost for a month’s worth of reading is the same – whether it be in the form of longer or shorter works. Since we are craving a shorter period to gratification – the short story is a perfect fit.

It is a great thing to read an anthology such as this. It fosters the art of the short story and encourages the power of young writers in an ancient industry that is being forced to renew itself. Young writers creating relevant works in a new old world: now that’s a story that I can’t wait to keep reading.

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Signed Copies of I Wrote This For You

photoIf you’re a fan of Iain S. Thomas and I Wrote This For You, and you didn’t get a chance to catch him in either of Vancouver, San Francisco or Los Angeles, you might be interested in a signed copy of one of his books. We have a limited supply of I Wrote This For You; Intentional Dissonance and I Wrote This For You: Just the Words that have been signed by him available to buy.

If you’re interested, please email us at info at centralavenuepublishing dot com and let us know which book(s) you’re interested in purchasing. The prices are the same as the regular list price at bookstores plus applicable shipping costs.

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New Release: Until Tomorrow by Abbie Williams

9781771680295We are proud to present the seventh book in the Shore Leave Cafe series, Until Tomorrow. If you’re a romance lover, you will truly enjoy following this family of strong women as they grow together with the men who love them. Each woman is unique, with her own struggles in life and love and each book follows a different woman as she matures and grows while weaving in her relationships with her sisters, mother, grandmother and aunt.

Abbie Williams has crafted a series that takes you in and makes you wish had a place like the Shore Leave Cafe to escape to.



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See Iain S. Thomas in Los Angeles

BNLAPosterIain S. Thomas, writer and creator of the I Wrote This For You project will be at Bookstar Studio City in Los Angeles on Friday, October 10 at 7pm.

And if you go, please post some pictures to twitter with the hashtag #iwtfyla.

Hope you can come…


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Giveaway for OMG… Am I a Witch?!

NunezOctober is here and things will start getting Halloween-y soon! To celebrate the upcoming event, we’re offering a giveaway of our newest kids’ book PLUS some swag (a book of magic and a cute dog stuffy) – OMG… Am I a Witch?! by Talia Aikens-Nunez.

A very cute early chapter book for kids aged 7-10, this fun book follows April Appleton as she mistakenly turns her older brother into a fluffy little dog! With her friends, April will try her hardest to figure out how to change him back to his annoying human self – before her parents find out! And most importantly, is she really a witch?

Enter the Rafflecopter below to enter and feel free to enter as much as you like!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Junior Authors Writers Conference – Vancouver

JAWC_Richmond_v1-791x1024On October 18, Michelle Halket will be speaking at the Junior Authors Writers Conference which is put on by Laura Thomas Communications. This conference is targeted to writers aged 9-21 and covers all aspects of writing.

There’s still space and scholarships are also being made available courtesy of the Delta School District, Albany Books and yours truly!

For more information and to enter the writing contests, please check out the website.


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BlogTalk Radio with Annie O’Sullivan is Back


AnnieOSullivanAfter a long hiatus, Annie O’Sullivan, child abuse survivor, author of Can You Hear Me Now? and advocate for children and survivors is back blogging and with her popular radio show. With a supportive and informative environment, Annie and her co-host Connie Lee, have created a talk show that covers all aspects of survivorhood.

Join them this Thursday, September 25.

Originally posted on Broken Until Spoken:

With me Annie O’Sullivan and Connie Lee, let chat!

Can You Hear Me Now with Annie O'Sullivan and Connie Lee is back!!  Thursdays at 6:30 PM Pacific Time!  Or in the Archives Anytime!


Can You Hear Me Now with Annie O’Sullivan and Connie Lee is back!! Thursdays at 6:30 PM Pacific Time! Or in the Archives anytime. Available for download.Follow the link

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